CDC Vital Signs: Binge Drinking among Women and High School Girls
Binge drinking is a dangerous behavior but is not widely recognized as a women’s health problem. CDC’s latest Vital Signs report shows that nearly 14 million U.S. women binge drink about three times a month, and consume an average of six drinks per binge. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks on an occasion for women and girls.
- About 1 in 8 women and 1 in 5 high school girls report binge drinking.
- Binge drinking was most common among white and Hispanic women, and among women with household incomes of $75,000 or more.
- Half of all high school girls who drink alcohol report binge drinking.
Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes about 23,000 deaths among women and girls in the United States each year. It puts women at increased risk for many health problems such as breast cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease, and unintended pregnancy. Pregnant women who binge drink expose a developing baby to high levels of alcohol, which can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and sudden infant death syndrome.
Individuals who are concerned about their own or someone else's binge drinking can call 1-800-662-HELP to receive assistance from the national Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service.
“Binge drinking causes many health problems, and there are proven ways to prevent excessive drinking. Effective measures can support women, girls, and communities in making wise choices about whether to drink or how much to drink if they do.”
- CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.
“It is alarming to see that binge drinking is so common among women and girls, and that women and girls are drinking so much when they do. The good news is that the same scientifically proven strategies for communities and clinical settings that we know can prevent binge drinking in the overall population can also work to prevent binge drinking among women and girls.”
- Robert Brewer, M.D., M.S.P.H., of CDC’s Alcohol Program
- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2013) : “CDC Vital Signs: Binge Drinking among Women and High School Girls | PDF [2.69MB]
- Press Release: Binge drinking is a serious, under-recognized problem among women and high school girls
- Media Advisory: CDC Telebriefing on Vital Signs Report on Binge Drinking among Women and Girls
- Vital Signs: Home | January 2013 Vital Signs Binge Drinking | PDF [1.45MB] | January 2012 Vital Signs Binge Drinking | Issues
- Public Health Grand Rounds Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use: What Public Health Can Do
- Alcohol and Public Health
- Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Women’s Health
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency.
- Vital Signs – Binge Drinking Among Women and Girls: English | Spanish
- Binge Drinking Among Women and Girls PSA
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